Many people often experience a sensitivity or intolerance to the lactose content found in dairy milk. Others may even suffer from allergic reactions from drinking cow's milk. The good news is that dairy milk doesn't have to be your only milk option when it comes to your cooking and baking needs. Coconut milk is a close alternative to cow's milk, which also happens to resemble the texture of whole dairy milk.
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Technically speaking, coconut milk isn't milk at all. Instead, it is a liquid that is made from blending and straining the mature “meat” of the coconut fruit. This liquid is not to be confused with coconut water or juice, which is derived from the thin, milky fluids that naturally seep out of cracked coconuts. However, both coconut milk and coconut water have their own fair share of unique health benefits. Use coconut milk as a milk alternative in recipes to give your baked goods a nutty flavor twist. (Related: Coconut Recipes: Enjoy the Milk and Oil of the Coconut.)
The health benefits and uses of coconut milk
Coconut milk is a nutritious and delicious natural beverage that boasts a wide range of health benefits. Here are a few ways in which drinking coconut milk can improve your overall health and well-being:
Coconut milk is rich in healthy fats. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are fatty acids that can be found abundantly in coconut milk. These are healthy fats that can be easily absorbed into your body. Coconut milk is a delicious way to increase your healthy fat intake.
Coconut milk supports a sensible weight management plan. When accompanied with a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle, coconut milk can help you achieve your fitness goals.
Coconut milk supports healthy digestion. Coconut milk contains useful electrolytes that can support the healthy functions of your digestive system and keep your body hydrated.
Coconut milk can restore wakefulness and focus. The electrolytes found in coconut milk can shake off drowsiness. You can achieve a sharp and clear mind from regular consumption of coconut milk.
Coconut milk supports healthy heart functions. Regularly drinking coconut milk can help you maintain a healthy heart by supporting healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range.
Coconut milk is suitable for people with dairy milk allergies. You won't find any soy or gluten in this non-dairy milk alternative, which means that coconut milk is suitable for those with multiple food allergies. Even if you have dairy, grain, or nut allergies, you can still take coconut milk with no problems.
Coconut milk is vegetarian- and vegan-friendly. If you strictly adhere to a plant-based diet, you won't have to worry about drinking this non-dairy milk alternative. It is derived entirely from coconuts, making coconut milk an excellent plant-based source of nutrients.